Divine Justice - Episode 7

الأربعاء, 01 شوال,1434 Wednesday, 07 August ,2013
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Divine Justice - Episode 7 Divine Justice- Episode Seven

Our subject today is the divine justice. According to the Imamiyah beliefs it is one of the essential parts of the faith indeed believing in Allah subhanahu wa talaa, His divine attributes, the incomparability of these attributes and justice ((العدل. There are many ayat in the Quran focusing on this theme, on this subject. Allah does not wrong anybody, ayat from the Quran repeatedly mentioning this and that's why the Shias or let's call them the Adliyyah which are even the Motazilites agree with the Shias about this that justice is one of the essential beliefs of faith in Islam. However, those who do not believe in justice to be part of the aqeeda, try to express their views in a variety of ways. One of the ways is to deny the free will. They say "We have no control over our deeds. Whatever is written on us is a fact and no one can or may avoid what is written on him."

When they talk about the divine will (الارادة الالهية ) we have to differentiate between two types of will with regard to Allah. One which is related to creation and the other is related to legislation. In the books of aqeeda and tafseer normally they call the first one

((الارادة التكوينية and the second (الارادة التشريعية) and we clarify that in a simple way. Allah's will is to create, to create us, to provide us with a brain, the faculty of differentiating between what is good and what is evil. Allah willed to provide us with limbs and organs which guarantee the survival. Allah gave us the ability to manoeuver all these things, all these actions and always our decision and our brain controls all our actions however, this type of will which is regarding the creation is totally different from the legislative will. Legislative will is what Allah orders the messengers to convey certain things to the human kind, Allah ordered Nooh (a.s.) to speak to his people, to invite them to certain laws.

Of course amongst the messengers and Prophets three are known to have divine books which still are considered to be the divine scripture, a source of legislation, about the law, do's and don'ts, and by that we refer to the Torah, the Bible (Injeel) and the Holy Quran.

So any command from Allah in the type of do's and don'ts, obligations and prohibitions. In the obligations and the prohibition when there are commands, either as something binding or something recommended. All these are conveyed by the Prophets, by the messengers, and when we talk particularly about the Islamic theology we are talking about approximately 500 verses or ayat in the Quran which deal with all these legislative things in Islam. So upon that we know that certain things are obligatory, some others are recommended, a third type is prohibited, the fourth one is discouraged and the fifth one is permissible. These are the five types of rulings in Islam.

The will of Allah here means that people must comply with those rulings, but still they have the free will. This means that Allah recommends or orders or commands or prohibits but still there are two ways, either human kind follow or choose to follow this way or that way. So they are not pushed to go through a particular path. For those who try to say if Allah wills something it will definitely take place and for that we don't have the choice or freedom, they are mistaken. Why? Because they are confused, they are not differentiating between the creative will which means the will of Allah that deals with creations and the legislative will which deals with rulings of do's and don'ts. This type of will which is about lawful and unlawful, obedience and disobedience always leaves plenty of room for every single to decide, to choose to follow a particular path or the other one, and that's why this type of argument will not help them in negating the free will at all. Although we know that when Allah creates something and wills to do so, creating everything in the right way, for example the galaxies, the gravity, the whole solar system, whatever is in space, even within us, how our stomach or digestive system or our lungs or the blood circulation, all these are designed in a way that they can't be changed by us. But when the will is in the form or within the ability and boundaries of halal and haram, do's and don'ts, it doesn't negate our right to choose and that’s why we can't refer the disobedience or any wrongdoing of people to Allah, it is definitely their own responsibility and they will be held accountable for anything they choose.

The Asharites, followers of Abul Hassan Al Ashari believe in something totally different which we said about the free will. They believe human beings are only able to obtain the hue, the colour of the deeds and not its essence. Why do they do that? Because they try to say that who are we to say what is right for God or what is not? Although this seems something reasonable and by its apparent meaning, yes we are servant of Allah and we can't say something that Allah should be this way or that way. But what we say is that Allah Himself promised in the Quran that He will treat everybody with justice and fairness. He said that "I am not wronging my servants."

Allah mentions in the Quran that because justice is a core value in the whole system so all the rules and all the system will be based on justice.

If a person chooses to do something wrong, disobeys Allah or commits a sin, then Allah on the day of judgement wants to punish him for something which he had no role in doing it, because those who say that they lack free will, it means that everything is done by Allah's will. And if this is right it follows that when people commit a sin in reality they will be held accountable for what they haven't done! They did not commit this; the real doer was God and not themselves, so to avoid this type of fallacy and problem the Asharites thought that the will is from God, the power to do is from God but the servant or the person only can acquire the hue of that act and that hue whether it means good or evil, whether a person is doing something right or doing something wrong.

In reality this is nothing but predestination, this in no way solves the problem of free will at all. Still this means that the power is from God, the will is from God so why does Allah punish me and hold me accountable for something which I did not do, and in reality He did it? So that's why the Imamiyah and the Motazilites both reject this type of argument and say that it leads to a lot of confusion.

It is useful to know that the four schools of Ahlul Sunna, the Hanafis, the Shafi'ees, the Hambalis and Malikis with regard to jurisprudence they follow one of these four schools but regard to faith they are all Asharites. And this was supported later on first by Abul Hassan Al Ashari in his book (مقالات الاسلامين و اختلاف المصلين) towards the mid fourth century of the Islamic calendar and later on Al Qadhi Abu Bakr Al Bagillani during the time of the Abbasid caliph Al Mutawakkil tried to polish that and make it the official aqeeda and doctrine of Muslim community at the time of the caliphs.

If we want to touch upon this issue, it is nothing but injustice. Why? Because if I do something wrong then I put the blame on somebody else, everybody by nature considers this unfair. Each person must be held accountable for their own deeds.

Even in poetry there was some sort of debate about this. In the past some people said that we are like a person who is handcuffed, tied up and thrown in the river then telling him, beware, don’t get wet! How can he? If he is tied up, if he handcuffed in a sense that he can't move, he can't rescue his life? How can he avoid all that while he's losing control? You can order someone to do something whilst they have the ability to avoid it. You have to hold accountable for someone that has free will and has freedom of choice. If they don't have freedom of choice how can they defend themselves? Even when this was put in two lines of poetry in Arabic, the Asharites, the supporters of predestination said "Look, if the grace of Allah encompasses him, he wouldn't bother with being thrown in the water. But if God decided for him to sink, he will sink even if he was left in the desert or on the sand." This seems ridiculous, illogical. For this reason we see the two opinions that do we have free will or we lack that? Are we forced to go this way or that way? This means that no choice is made by us or everybody is going to be held accountable for that.

There are many ayat in the Quran to support the second idea (وَأَنْ لَيْسَ لِلْإِنْسَانِ إِلَّا مَا سَعَى) nothing is referred to the human being but what they gain, what they acquire. So if what I acquire wasn't mine, it is by somebody else, by some super power who dominates me so what is the meaning of the aya then? The ayat to focus and to emphasize on this are many and inshaAllah we will deal with some of them which in the first reading it might lead to this type of predestination but we will go to deep analysis on them we'll see that they are nothing but explaining the sense of accountability and emphasizing on free will. That is what we are going to chase in the following session.